Monday, May 08, 2017

Mothering: You Made Me A Mother by Laurenne Sala

I ate lots of spinach.

I sang to you.

I was nervous.

I wasn't sure I was ready.

The nursery is readied. Dad has helped put the crib together. A little lavender patchwork elephant has been delivered. But as first-time moms know, no one is ready for a new baby.

And then you were here.

I rocked you. I fed you.

I realized I would spend my life trying to make you happy.

How does anyone become a mother? How does anyone become a parent?

Laurenne Sala's You Made Me a Mother (Harper, 2016), shares the premise that making a mom is a partnership, that moms are made, not born, in the process of childraising. Sala's mother giggles with her baby and splashes in their little plastic pool. She attempts to soothe bedtime toddler tantrums and deals with the inevitable wakie-wakies in the middle of the night. Together they ride a big purple elephant on the carousel at the park. They read on the window seat, splash through rain puddles in their raincoats, and walk barefoot down the beach together, hand in hand... until that poignant moment when the little one lets go and runs ahead.

I made you, but you made me a mother

And I'd do it all over again.

Somehow author Sala manages to sum up the story of mothering in a simple text, one that is sweet but not saccharine, one that shows both memorable high and low points of parenting, but manages an altogether moving narrative. Sala's story is happily paired with the charming pastel-toned illustrations of Robin Preiss Glaser, the skillful creator of the Clancy family of Fancy Nancy fame, who crafts a cozy, loving home in which mother and child grow together. A great salute to Mothers Day for expectant mothers--and mothers and grandmothers of all ages. "Motherhood has rarely been summed up so succinctly or so well," says Kirkus in their starred review.



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